Welcome back to the 41st edition of The Lab Report!

This newsletter will be a little different than your regular programming.

I actually spent most of August away from the computer.

The first couple weeks I was down in San Diego for a business mastermind retreat at the craziest AirBnB ever – it had a baseball diamond, pickleball court, mini-golf course, beach volleyball court, and like other 13 other sport courts.

San Diego meetup
San Diego meetup

Then last week I spent a few days in Washington for WordCamp US.

The gang at WordCamp US 2023

It was SO fun meeting the likes of Jonathan Jernigan, Kevin Geary, James LePage, Mark Westguard, Adam Preiser, Ferdy Korpershoek, Patrick Gallagher and more.

Most of these guys I have interacted with on Facebook for years, but never met in real-life.

Everyone was legitimately nicer in-person than I even expected. I’m not sure why I found that surprising.

But there’s also a couple big things I took away from these events.

Let’s dive in!

WS Form

This Week’s Unofficial Sponsor

WS Form is not actually sponsoring this newsletter, but let’s just say Mark Westguard bought more than a couple cold bevvies for the table and provided for more than a few laughs to go along with them.

WS Form is my go-to form plugin, and what I recommend to anyone who needs a powerful form builder.

I’ve yet to come across a use-case that WS Form hasn’t been able to handle. It’s that good.

If you were thinking about trying it out, Mark is running a special WordCamp promo that he’s extended until Monday.

Just use this link, and you can get 30% off all plans.

🙋‍♂️ Who you surround yourself with changes the way you think

At the San Diego mastermind retreat, I’d say the majority of people were 7-figure entrepreneurs – or at least well on their way.

Even though we spent half the time playing games and hanging out, hearing what everyone was up to and the challenges they were facing really helped provide a new perspective.

Everyone was just operating on a much higher playing field.

It wasn’t so much a case of having special knowledge or an IQ of 1000 – they’re just playing a bigger game.

It made me realize that a lot of the stuff I was focusing on was small fries.

Small client issues. Small blog optimizations. Small product ideas. Small whatever.

Small fries.

So attending this mastermind gave me two things:

  • It reset how I view different problems & opportunities
  • It made me realize that I need to surround myself with big thinkers more often

Make the logo bigger? Nah. Make the CLIENT bigger.

And that last one is so obvious and super cliche.

But after not doing much networking since the start of c*vid, it was interesting to see how much impact even just one networking event had.

👨‍💻 It’s good to break out of your daily routine

Spending 2-3 weeks away from the computer was also incredibly helpful for mental clarity.

When you do the same thing day after day, the voice in your head can often start creating its own storyline.

“You’re not being productive enough.” “Is this really worth your time?” “Are you ever going to breakthrough?”

Sometimes you don’t even realize there’s a pattern happening.

Now that I’m back in the ol’ office, I definitely feel more ‘reset’. Like I have a chance to start fresh.

Do vacations count?

What’s even more interesting about all of this is that I’m not sure I get the same effect after taking a typical vacation.

Day 1 back from a vacation often feels stressful – not re-energizing.

It feels like I’m behind on everything.

After attending these retreats/conferences, it’s been a different feeling.

Your new perspectives and connections actually make you feel like you’ve progressed ahead – not fallen behind.

🎥 Recapping WordCamp US

WordCamp US livechat

Jonathan Jernigan, Kevin Geary and I will be hopping on a livestream this morning at 10am EST (Friday, September 1) to chat about our WordCamp experiences.

Our personal takeaways and what we thought about the event in general.

If you have a few min, you should come say hi in the live chat!

💬 Closing Comments

That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading my personal journal.

If you ever want to discuss any of the topics in this newsletter, I usually post a dedicated thread each week inside of the NewPulse Labs Facebook group.

You can also find previous issues of The Lab Report over at https://newpulselabs.com/newsletter.

Talk soon!